Why does good news feel so bad?
Just a pre-warning that there are some numbers in this post involving weight gain (although not my specific weight). Oh, and it’s also one big fat moan.
Since I’ve been discharged from the Eating Disorder service, I made a promise to myself to make appointments with the Nurse/GP to be weighed regularly to ensure I’m on the right track. Today I did just that.
From my first appointment back in November, until two weeks ago when I was discharged, I had irregular, sporadic appointments with the Doctor/Dietitian where I was weighed. The number of weeks between appointments varied from 2 – 6 weeks and during this time, my average gain was a pathetic 0.4-0.5kg. I never lost weight, it just increased what I felt to be agonisingly slowly and I blogged at the time I felt deflated and unmotivated because my efforts weren’t paying off. I should have appreciated slow and steady gains a lot more with hindsight!
Back to today. In the space of a fortnight since my last appointment with the Dietitian, I’ve gained 2.8kg. I feel disgusted. Initially I had a rush of strange excitement, I felt proud and happy that I could tell my Mum I’d had a more significant increase. And then the horrible thoughts set in. The weight I am at now is 5kg heavier than I was, and is very close to the weight I was discharged from hospital at in 2008. Now I know this isn’t a healthy weight. I know I need to keep going with this recovery. Just because I’m near that weight, it is not ok. I’m not ok. That doesn’t stop the disordered thoughts creeping in, telling me that maybe I can slow down my eating now, that my weight isn’t too bad any more. I know this is a lie.
In 2010, my Mum asked me to go to see the GP just to check my weight (she’s a worrier!) which I did. I was weighed, he checked my history and said ‘you’re fine, you are a little off your discharge weight but fluctuations are expected, so it’s nothing to worry about’. I weighed the same at that appointment as I do today. Surely if it was ok to be that weight in 2010, then it’s ok to be that weight now? No. No it’s not. It’s still not healthy. I’m trying to write down rational thoughts in order to cheer myself up and stop feeling so horrible and frumpy and bleugh about such a monstrous weight gain in comparison to previous weigh ins. It’s not a gigantic amount of gain realistically, but it doesn’t make me feel any better.
The whole point of recovery is to gain weight right? So why is it that as soon as that happens I feel so bloody bad about it? The scales used in the GP surgery were from 1975 (possibly older) and weren’t electronic. Part of me didn’t know whether I could trust the number because it was one of those needle-type scales and I couldn’t stop thinking about it. This is where it gets really ridiculous. I was in Sainsbury’s, and strolled down the House/Home isle where the scales are (who am I kidding – I wasn’t aimlessly strolling…I headed there purposely). I wanted some peace of mind that the scales were either right or wrong – I wish I hadn’t bloody bothered. I stealthily sneaked a set of electronic scales off the shelf, slipped off my shoes and hopped on. This scale was pretty snazzy looking and had the benefit of being electronic and put my fortnightly weight gain at 3.8kg. ARGH. Another kg! Enter even worse thoughts. So the first scales didn’t over estimate the weight gain? In fact, they under estimated. Woop-de-fucking-do.
I have read a lot of posts recently with people stressing and worrying about what they deem to be a really high initial weight gain and responses to this are generally put down to water retention, the replies I’ve read say things like ‘it’s expected in the first few weeks of recovery/it’s not real weight’ etc etc. I don’t think this applies to me, and I’m pretty sure my weight gain is actual weight – I’m not in the ‘initial’ stages of recovery, this isn’t the first few weeks of a high intake of food, so surely this is proper actual full on fat?
This is the first time since I’ve been being weighed that I’ve felt this way I think. Because I’ve reached a certain weight I want to stop now. I have been feeling ok the past few days, really cramming in food and not worrying about eating an extra chocolate bar – but now I feel so guilty for being a glutton.
In summary – I gained (what I feel to be) a lot of weight. I need to gain more. I need to learn to accept this.